Devils Postpile National Monument
Established in 1911 by presidential proclamation, Devils Postpile National Monument protects and preserves the Devils Postpile formation, the 101-foot Rainbow Falls, and the pristine mountain scenery. The Devils Postpile formation is a rare sight in the geologic world and ranks as one of the world's finest examples of columnar basalt. Its columns tower 60-feet high and display an unusual symmetry.
Another wonder is in store just downstream from the Postpile at Rainbow Falls, once called a gem unique and worthy of its name. When the sun is overhead, a bright rainbow highlights the spectacular Falls. The monument is also a portal to the High Sierra backcountry, with some 75% included in the Ansel Adams Wilderness. At 800 acres, Devils Postpile National Monument may be considered small by some, yet its natural and recreational values abound. Camping, fishing, hiking, horseback riding and winter sports are some activities you can enjoy while visiting. Although the monument is closed in the winter and spring months, annual snowfall of over 400 inches provided a winter recreation paradise for determined visitors who venture into the valley. The park is accessed by shuttle bus. Tickets can be purchased at the Mammoth Mountain Adventure Center located in the Mammoth Mountain Ski Area Gondola Building adjacent to the Mammoth Mountain Inn at the top of Highway 203. Buses run every 20 or 30 minutes.
Seasonality / Weather
Devils Postpile National Monument is closed during winter months and is open typically from mid-June through mid-October. Winter is also a great time to visit if you are ready to ski or snowshoe through the terrain. Trips into the Reds Meadow Valley are not for novice backcountry travelers. Check with the Eastern Sierra Avalanche Center at (760) 924-5510 for current avalanche conditions, plan ahead, and it is best to not travel alone.
From U.S. Highway 395, drive 10 miles west on S.R. 203 to Minaret Vista and then another 8 miles on a paved, steep mountain road. Please note that this road is single lane for approximately three miles. Most visitors must park at the Mammoth Mountain Ski Area and use the mandatory shuttle. The shuttle bus operates from mid-June through the Wednesday after Labor Day.
Exceptions to the shuttle system are those visitors who drive into the Reds Meadow Valley before 7 a.m. or after 7:30 p.m., or who are overnight guests of Reds Meadow Resort, who are camping within the Reds Meadow Valley, who are hauling stock trailers, whose vehicles are carrying small watercraft for use in the lakes, or who need further accessibility accommodations.
Shuttle bus tickets can be purchased at the Mammoth Mountain Adventure Center located in the Mammoth Mountain Ski Area Gondola Building adjacent to the Mammoth Mountain Inn at the top of Highway 203. Buses run every 20 or 30 minutes. When buses are not running, visitors must pay a standard amenity fee at the Minaret Vista Station.
From July 1 through September 1, YARTS offers daily bus service from Yosemite Valley to the town of Mammoth Lakes. Call 1-877-989-2787 or visit www.yarts.com. From late June to early September, day-use visitors to the Devils Postpile/Reds Meadow area must ride the shuttle bus.
Shuttle bus tickets can be purchased at the Mammoth Mountain Adventure Center located in the Mammoth Mountain Ski Area Gondola.
For those visitors wanting to bike down to the Postpile, bicycles are allowed down the road free of charge. If, however, visitors choose not to ride back out of the Valley and opt to use the shuttle instead, they must pay the shuttle bus fee. The buses will transport bicycles if space is available.